Conversations with the Collection

Open daily, 10am–5pm

Admission free


Try our free audio tours


Taking over the top level of Modern One, this changing programme of displays offers a brand new way to experience the nation's collection. 

Each room brings to light rarely displayed yet fascinating artworks and stories. Works have been selected to create bold juxtapositions and identify visual similarities between artworks, styles and movements to offer a fresh take on how works of art can be presented, and share the stories they tell. The aim is to unearth evocative stories and unexpected connections between artists and encourage a sense of openness and discovery.

Talking points are encouraged and explored by covering a wide mix of techniques, processes and approaches, ranging across sculpture, painting, photography and more. Iconic works by famous artists such as Anish Kapoor, Sarah Lucas, Jackson Pollock, Tracey Emin and Cindy Sherman are on display alongside those by brilliant but lesser-known figures including Carole Gibbons and Catherine Yarrow. 

Each display explores a unique theme or topic with the thematic displays placing conversation at their heart in a bid to inspire conversations with the collection.

Explore the displays

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Gallery facilities

Detailed information on accessibility at the National Galleries of Scotland

Parking for visitors is available at both Modern One and Modern Two. A donation is requested of £5 for up to 4 hours and £9 for 4-8 hours. Our payment meters have contactless capability. There is free accessible parking for blue badge holders.

  • Information desk
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair access
  • Accessible toilets
  • Changing places toilet
  • Wheelchairs available
  • Public toilets
  • Disabled parking
  • Lockers (£1/£2)
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Buggy park
  • Seating throughout
  • Bike rack
  • Parking
  • Café
Getting here

Getting here

The Modern is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.

Venue map
  • Open daily, 10am–5pm
  • Open daily, 10am–5pm
73 & 75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR

Conversations with the Collection displays

Conversations with the Collection displays

Explore the individual displays that make up Conversations with the Collection.

Audio tours

Audio tours

Welcome Audio Tour

For this tour, our curators introduce the themes of the display room by room and explain how they have drawn from the collection of modern and contemporary art to unearth evocative stories and create bold comparisons between the artists, ideas and ways of making. 

A conversation piece

For this tour audio tour of the Conversations with the Collection display at Modern One we have invited guests to share their thoughts on a selection of artworks from the display. Not knowing in advance which artworks they would be discussing, these responses are honest, real and unscripted. 

Audio Described Tour

Enjoy a selection of audio descriptions of artworks at from Conversations with the Collection. Taking over the top level of Modern One, this display is a celebration of Scottish and international modern and contemporary art.

Families | Art chat

Families | Art chat

Designed for families aged 6+ our art chat guide helps you explore the different artworks in this exhibition and encourages you to make your own. Available to pick up in gallery or download.

Related articles

Related articles

Being so close to the artworks every day, our Security and Visitor Services team have a unique relationship with our collection. In these blogs staff explore artworks in the exhibition.

Staff Insights on Carol Rhodes

In this blog Rachel Howarth looks at the work of Scottish artist Carol Rhodes.

Staff Insights on Tracey Emin

In this blog Zhu Tian looks at English artist Tracey Emin.

Staff Insights on Francesca Woodman

In this blog Olga Pypno writes about Untitled (FW Crouching Behind Umbrella) by American artist Francesca Woodman.

Staff Insights on Anne Redpath

In this blog Emma Griffin writes about The Worcester Jug by Scottish artist Anne Redpath.

Staff Insights on Sarah Lucas

 In this blog Edward Wilkinson looks at the work of English artist Sarah Lucas.

Friends go free

Friends go free

Become a Friend to enjoy unique access to the nation’s art collection with unlimited free entry to exhibitions, Friends-only exhibition previews and a 10% discount in our gallery shops & cafés.

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